Description of Band: "Jen Cass writes like Bob Dylan, sings like Mary Chapin Carpenter and looks like Faith Hill. I was dumbstruck." - Agenda
Biography: Born to unusually hip parents in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, Singer-Songwriter Jen Cass was raised on a healthy mix of folk music, home-grown vegetables, spontaneous dancing, black licorice and Motown. When asked about her childhood, Jen muses, I remember my mom doing pirouettes around the living room with Joan Baez and Simon & Garfunkel blasting in the background. Then dad would pull out his guitar and we'd all sing Tom Paxton songs. My sister and I weren't allowed to watch TV, so we sang, danced and read every book we could get our hands on. By the age of five, I was a miniature troubadour in bad seventies clothing, quoting Jack London and belting out Jim Croce tunes. I love my parents for that.
While her fashion sense evolved over time, Jen has always remained true to her folk roots, writing beautifully crafted songs that draw comparisons to songwriting legends Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Janis Ian, as well as playwright Eugene O'Neill. In the words of Suzanne Glass of Indie-Music.com, Cass' songs are lyrical gems. She weaves fables with her words that would make Aesop jealous.
In November 1996, Jen released her first CD, Brave Enough To Say, and quickly sold out the first pressing. Jen had the great privilege of recording Brave Enough To Say with the help of the acclaimed Russian surf-rock band Red Elvises. We mixed contemporary folk, oatmeal raisin cookies and extreme sleep deprivation to create a totally unique sound, quips Jen. Radio-guru Aaron Childs agrees, calling Brave Enough To Say, A brilliant collection of highly original tunes. Rick Nelson of the Tacoma News Tribune calls Brave Enough To Say an excellent debut CD and Jen a gifted storyteller with a great voice. And Agenda's Alan Goldsmith raves, Jen Cass mixes old country-folk roots in a new way and paints these heartbreaking snapshots of lives gone wrong like nobody else.
Since the release of Brave Enough To Say, Jen has played tirelessly throughout the country, impressing fans and critics alike with her powerful performances and her gift for using her voice to capture pictures of broken American souls. Over time, Jen's live shows have become extremely popular, causing one critic to lament, I attempted to pop into the Jen Cass show last month, but by ten o'clock the club was jammed to the roof and even standing room was not an option.
In addition to gigs at Northwest Folklife, Bumpershoot, Great Blue Heron Festival, Seattle Peace Concerts, RockFest 1969, The Ark and several other venues, Jen was recently selected for the first national Indiegrrl Tour. The tour, which showcased independent artists from around the world, kicked off at Rebar in New York City on July 1, 1999, and traveled coast to coast in the following months. Jen is currently hard at work recording her second album, No Safe Harbor, which is due for release in January 2001.
Similar Bands: Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sheryl Crow, Indigo Girls
Favorite Bands: Nanci Griffith, Indigo Girls, Elvis Costello, REM, Mary Chapin Carpenter
Who Would You Like To Tour With: Mary Chapin Carpenter
What Will You Buy When You Make It Big: A PT Cruiser, of course.
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